Refuge uses Christmas poetry to raise awareness of domestic abuse

The online and social media campaign by Refuge will raise awareness of domestic abuse at Christmas time.

Joe Lepper | 5th Dec 18
Image shows a woman crying representing domestic abuse

A campaign using reversible poetry to raise awareness of domestic abuse at Christmas has been launched by the charity Refuge.

The campaign has been developed by marketing agency McCann Bristol for the charity. When read backwards the Christmas poems reveal the plight of domestic abuse victims.

The poetry campaign, which is being promoted on Twitter and the charity’s website, is part of a global initiative called 16 days of action (25 November – 10 December) to raise awareness of violence against women and girls.

A total of three poems, called Christmas Eve, Mistletoe and Auld Lang-Syne, have been released as the charity looks to highlight how domestic violence is often hidden. The campaign also aims to raise awareness of the support Refuge can offer to victims when their partner “turns and becomes controlling”, says the charity.

One of the poems has been read by the actress Maxine Peake. She said: “I’m delighted to support Refuge’s Christmas campaign to raise awareness of the terrifying reality that women and children face when they live with a perpetrator of domestic violence.

“Nobody should have to live in fear in their own home at any time of the year, but for those who do, it’s a relief to know that they can turn to Refuge’s services throughout the country and know that they will be listened to, believed and supported to rebuild their lives free from violence and coercion.”

No one should suffer in silence

Sandra Horley, Chief Executive of Refuge added: “Two women are killed by their current or former partners every week in England and Wales alone.  Domestic abuse is the biggest issue affecting women and children in this country today – it really is a life and death issue.

“Yet still too few women know how to spot the signs of domestic violence, realise that domestic abuse is a crime or know that Refuge is here to support them.  Domestic violence happens all year round – including at Christmas.  We want women to know that no matter what time of year, no one should suffer in silence and they should ‘turn’ to us for support.”